August 2007

Disclaimer: Power Rangers and their affiliates belong to Saban and are used without permission and no money is being made off of this.

Author's Note: And the bunnies keep breeding… The idea hit me while watching a Tommy/Kim music video on YouTube and I had to go find "King for a Day"… and wonder what would have happened if Tommy had been unreachable by any of the Rangers...I tweaked the dialogue and I haven't actually watched the Zeo season – so forgive the creative license.

Summary: Set during "King for a Day" Tommy's been kidnapped by the Machine Empire and believes himself to be their King. The Rangers teleport in to help Jason, but things go haywire when they realize Tommy can't be reached by anyone, even Katherine...

Hearts and Armor

Part 1

The arena was filled with cheering as the gold Ranger was sent sprawling once more and the man the machine empire was proclaiming as their King lifted his hands in victory. "And now, Rangers I will finish you one and for all to stop the spread of your vile evil from going beyond this arena for now and forever!"

"Tommy, no!" Katherine de-morphed, powering down her zeo crystal and standing before him in her street clothes. Her blonde hair blew slightly in the wind as she stepped forward, out in front of the Rangers. "Tommy, don't do this, we're your friends; we want to help you."

"Friends?" The Red Ranger spat the word, his helmet tilting derisively. "You are a scourge, a plague and one that I have the opportunity to extinguish here and now!"

She stepped closer. "No, Tommy." Her voice softened, her accent deepening. "We're the only line of defense against evil. They have you brainwashed; you're one of us."

He moved forward, as if to step beyond her, and she grabbed him, attempting to wrap her arms about his chest. The Red Ranger reacted, his arms shooting up between them and out. Her arms went wide, leaving her completely exposed and without the protection of her crystal. Her eyes widened for a half-second in alarm but she had no time to react as his hand came down and then back up, whipping across her face in a powerful backhanded slap.

Katherine spun several times in the air, a sickening snap audible through the suddenly silent arena as she was sent sprawling, collapsing in an unmoving heap.

"Kat!" The Gold Ranger's voice echoed through the arena on the heels of the sound as he and the other Rangers surrounded her. The Gold Ranger dropped to his knees beside her unmoving form as the others surrounded them protectively. Gold Ranger carefully checked Kat for injuries. Something in her shoulder was off, her arm hanging at a funny angle from the socket as he rolled her towards him. Her head dropped to the side, a small trickle of blood visible on the corner of her lip.

"Kat, can you hear me?"

She didn't twitch, didn't move, but he could she was breathing.

"This isn't good guys. She needs help and fast."

None of the Rangers could argue as they held their ground, facing the Red Ranger and former leader.

The Red Ranger laughed maniacally. "She was but the first; the rest of you are next!"

Behind the Red Ranger, the evil minions of the Machine Empire hooted and hollered their approval for their new king.

Back in the control center, Alpha 5 grasped his oblong head as he watched the events unfolding on the viewing globe. "Aie yi yi yi yi! What will we do Zordon? Tommy's completely unreachable!"

"Katherine's plea has failed, Alpha, but there is one person who may be able to reach him where she was not."

"But Zordon-"

"There is no time to argue, Alpha. You must go to Florida and find Kimberly. Without her, the Rangers are doomed."

Kimberly Hart inhaled deeply as she balanced carefully on the beam, her arms stretched in front of her for balance. She closed her eyes for a half-second, visualizing the move before bending her knees and arching her back. She gripped the beam between confident hands, pushing off, and had barely landed before she threw herself into a second backwards flip, this one without her hands. She landed, tilting slightly to the right before regaining her balance.

She extended her arms, a brilliant smile crossing her lips. Yes! She'd been trying to nail that move for hours!

Clapping brought her head around as she dropped from the beam.

"Good job, Kimberly. That will make an excellent addition to your routine."

"Thanks coach." She practically beamed under the approval as she collected her towel and wiped her face and neck. She'd been practicing in the gym by herself for the last three evenings as the Pan Globals were fast approaching and she didn't feel nearly ready enough. Her routine was dull, despite her coach's assurance it wasn't, and needed something. That backwards, no-hands hand spring was just the thing.

"The doors have been locked; we will see you in the morning for practice."

Kimberly waved good bye to him as she bent to collect the rest of her things. She was stuffing her towel into the bag when a familiar sound had her spinning around.

"Aie yi yi, Kimberly!"

"Alpha?" A huge grin split her lips. "What are you doing here?"

The Robot spread his arms wide. "Zordon sent me - the Rangers need your help."

Kimberly's smile died and she dropped her bag. "I'm not a Ranger anymore, Alpha. What could they possibly need my help for?"

"They're stuck in an interplanetary dimension with the Machine Empire. Katherine's been badly hurt and they can't escape to get her the help she needs."

"She'll last in her uniform; you know that as well as I do."

"She's not in uniform. Aie yi yi!"

Kimberly turned, one hand on the beam as she examined the robot carefully. "What do you mean she's not in uniform?"

"She took it off to try and fix the situation. It backfired and she's been hurt."

"Of all the numbskull stunts - why would Kat remove her uniform?"

"Tommy's been brainwashed. She tried to get through to him without it."

Kimberly hit the mat as her knees gave out, grabbing the beam for support. Tommy. It took a moment for the room to stop spinning and regain her focus. She'd promised herself she wouldn't think about him and now he was in trouble. "How?"

Alpha didn't seem to notice that the inquiry came out choked. "The Machine Empire kidnapped him and subjected him to a mind-altering device. They removed all of his memories. He doesn't remember who he is, or who his friends are. They've been indoctrinating him to believe that the Power Rangers are evil and they're stuck fighting him. Jason, Tanya, Rocky and Adam are protecting Katherine but if we don't get to her soon, she could die!"

"If Tommy doesn't remember anything, how could I possibly help? He's probably better off not remembering me or what I did to him."

"Kimberly, your friends need your help!"

And she hated Alpha in that moment for dragging her back into it. As soon as Tommy's name had been mentioned, she'd known she would help. That Katherine and Jason and the other were involved and in danger - mortal danger from Tommy - was something she couldn't ignore. She hurt thinking about it. Seeing Tommy again - could she do it?

Did she really have a choice?

She looked at Alpha, and pulled herself to her feet. Her bag remained where it was, tucked in beside the beam. "Alright, what can I do?"

"Thank heavens!" Alpha extended his hand. "Zordon needs to see you before we can send you to their location."


Grasping Alpha's hand, she glanced only once around the gym before nodding. The familiar sensation of being teleported engulfed her as she was sent streaming across the sky towards the Power Ranger's command center - a sensation that sent her blood thrilling through her veins. She'd missed this. The thrill of being called, of not knowing what she'd be facing - but in this case she did know. She was going to face off with the one person who had every reason to hate her for the way she'd treated him.

She'd be lucky if he didn't strike her down on site.

They rematerialized in the command center moments later and Kimberly was unable to keep the smile from her face. "Zordon!"

"It is good to see you, Kimberly, I only wish it were under more fortuitous circumstances."

"Alpha's told me about what's happened, but I still don't know what I can do to help."

"Observe the viewing globe."

She turned and took a half-step backwards. The Red Ranger was attacking the other Rangers. Yellow stood protectively over where Blue and Green were down beside Katherine's still form. Fear engulfed her for her friend - fear and guilt. She'd placed Katherine in that position by giving her the Pink Ranger's powers. The Gold Ranger - Gold? There hadn't been a Gold Ranger before - was facing off against Red. By their movements she was able to identify Jason as the New Ranger and Tommy in the Red suit.

Even as she watched, Jason was thrown backwards by a powerful kick. Jason rolled with the impact, regaining his feet beside the Yellow Ranger. All of them, including Tommy, sported damage to their uniforms, but the Rangers looked like they were taking the worst beating. Fortunately, she knew Jason and Tommy to be equally matched - the only question remained was for how long.

"As you can see, the Rangers are in a tight spot. Tommy is completely unreachable and does not acknowledge the Rangers as his allies."

"Can't you just teleport them out?"

"A field of incredible strength appears to be tied into Tommy's awareness. While he is under the Machine Empire's control, we will be unable to assist the Rangers."

"Then how'd they get there?" Kimberly's eyes remained glued to the viewing globe. "I mean, if there's a way in, there has to be a way out."

"The way in is not blocked, only outgoing teleportation is impeded. Alpha will resume looking for an alternate solution, however, it appears that Tommy regaining his memories is key to breaking through the field. It is tied in with his Ranger powers."

"Great. No pressure." She turned away from the globe reluctantly. "I'll do what I can, Zordon, but if Kat couldn't reach him, I don't know how I can."

"Whatever you do, Kimberly, you must do it quickly. Open your hand."

She did so and a coin materialized in her hand. She frowned at it. "I thought Kat said they were all destroyed."

"The Crane and Falcon Ninjetti coins were salvaged and charged by the zeo crystals unknown to the Rangers. We were unable to connect their full powers so they are the same as the coins you were given by Dulcea. Their link to the morphing grid, however, is weak at best. In the alternate dimension with our connection blocked, they may not work."

She smiled. "I appreciate the thought, Zordon, and I know you don't want to send me in unprepared, but I'm no longer a Ranger. It wouldn't be right using a coin linked to Kat's."

"The coin is for your protection. Use it if you must, but I would recommend calling on its powers only in the event of an emergency. Open your other hand."

She did, and the falcon coin appeared.

"If you can convince Tommy to use the falcon power coin once, it should reconnect him to the morphing grid and break the block on his memories The coins are still in tune with your and Tommy's life force; they will work only for you."

"I'll give it a shot, Zordon. Send me in."

"May the Power Protect you, Kimberly. Good luck."

She smiled faintly before the surge of energy that was teleportation whisked her away once more.